By Jasmine Kelly
It is no secret we live in a society that moves fast and instant gratification is constantly sought after. What we want, we get, and it is usually obtained quickly. For that reason, it is very hard to live in the present because we are constantly aiming for what is next. Especially when it comes to loving ourselves and appreciating where we are currently.
I have always known of Ntozake Shange but when she made her spiritual transition on October 28, 2018, her words resonated deeply within me. I found God in myself, and I loved her, I loved her fiercely. I know right? Deep. Shange’s words forced me to think about the woman that I am and the society that we live in for women like myself.
I am talking about black women. Black women who love strongly, fear nothing, talk loud, say nothing, give everything, hold back, are unapologetic, those who are cautious, the shook ones and the brave. Essentially, black women in their entire essence. It is no secret that we live in an unforgiving society that offers little to no space for self-reflection and spiritual growth. That goes tenfold for black women. Shange’s words gave me pause. In a world that only respects ideals, it can be very difficult for black women to recognize ourselves, love ourselves and to do so intentionally.
Loving yourself is difficult because it requires honesty. Truly loving ourselves means that we have to face those things that we do not favor be it physically, mentally, or emotionally. Personally, I have been learning to love my mind. I accept that it’s okay to unlearn some things and that I do not have to live my life in a way that it should be. Rather, I can illustrate my existence the way that I want and have confidence in doing so. And to tell you the truth, one step of self-love has a ripple effect. Because I embrace my mind, I can appreciate my body, my awkward laugh but most importantly other black women. I truly believe that when you love and understand yourself, you are more apt to better handle others.
With that being said, I see you sis; keep doing what you’re doing in the way that only you can do it and love yourself fiercely simply due to that fact alone. Understand that you are seen, loved, felt and appreciated. I call your name, Ntozake. Happy Women’s History Month!
Jasmine Kelly is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC.